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Accessible Experiences in Takayama, Gifu

December 1, 2020 Visit North Asia No Comments

From museums to festivals and everyday transportation methods Japan is dramatically improving its accessibility standards. The last few decades have seen the introduction of ‘barrier-free’ facilities allowing easier navigation for wheelchairs, multipurpose toilets, wide elevators with lowered buttons and non-step buses. Learn more about these efforts and the remarkable ways the country is working to introduce more accessible options to historical sites and modern day infrastructure  here.

In recognition of International Day of People with Disability on December 3rd, Visit Gifu have decided to highlight a couple of their favourite accessible experiences within the region of Takayama.

Takayama Jinya

Takayama Jinya is the Historical Government House building. This was a local governor’s office during the Edo period, with it being in official use from 1692 to 1969. There were once over 60 similar buildings across Japan, but nowadays Takayama Jinya is the only one left. For senior high school students and younger touring the premises is free, adults are charged 440 (JPY) for entry. Visiting this historic building is easy for all individuals as there is a universal toilet, and slope access present for wheelchair use at the site.

Takayama Festival Floats Exhibit Hall

Beginning close to 350 years ago, this small village ceremony has grown to be considered one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan. The focus of the festival is the magnificent floats which are pulled through the streets of the town. Since Takayama is in Hida, as the region grew as an important distribution center, it attracted rich merchants who wanted to support the festival. The floats became even more magnificent, resulting in the various districts of the town competing to produce the best float.

The Takayama Festival Floats Exhibit Hall is in Sakurayama Hachiman and houses 11 floats for the fall Takayama festival. A shrine maiden takes visitors on a tour. With English sign in, a universal restroom and wheelchair ramps on site, this is a breath-taking accessible experience not to be missed.

Hida Folk Village

For a truly enlightening cultural experience visiting Hida Folk Village is a must. With over 30 buildings recreating Hida’s historical look, this 130,000 square meter town of sloped- and thatched-roof houses is the perfect place to explore on a day trip. In each building everyday pieces, now regarded as folk art, paint a picture of what life was like in mountain farming villages. Demonstrations of traditional crafts such as Hida lacquer work, weaving and dyeing are held in arts and crafts centres. For a hands-on experience in folk art schools you can make Hida folk art like straw crafts and sashiko quilting. Accessibility in this area is well covered with wheelchair access and disable parking available.

Takayama Museum of History and Art

Open all your round, this museum is situated in warehouses once owned by two wealthy merchants. One was the Yajima family who ran a timber business and the other was the Nagata family who owned the best sake breweries in Takayama during the 17th century. There are 14 exhibition rooms that have individual themes including Takayama Festival, traditional houses, the city’s history, local writers’ literature, and arts. Experiencing this culture excursion is accessible to all thanks to an English sign in option, universal restroom, elevators, designated disable parking spaces and wheelchair ramps on site.

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